Landon Tewers is a difficult artist to pin down. Whether he’s in the studio with his The Plot In You bandmates or working on his solo career, you can bet the multi-talented musician is creating something you’ve never heard from him before.
Take The Plot In You’s Fearless Records debut Dispose. Churning out 10 breathtaking and sonically charged tracks like the epic “Feel Nothing” or the spectacular “Disposable Fix,” the 2018 release proved the Ohio outfit is more than just a “metalcore band.”
As for Tewers’ recently released solo record Withdrawals, the forward-thinking vocalist has again demonstrated that you can’t constrain him to genre barriers. Incorporating elements of pop, R&B, and electronica all throughout his stunning nine-track effort, Tewers is letting listeners know to expect the unexpected when it comes to his art.
“[The Plot In You] is at a place now, you know, where I guess I’m able to experiment more,” says Tewers. “So it’s almost expected. Like the unexpected is now expected. So we could put out songs like [my solo tracks] “Something to Lose” or “Threatening” as Plot songs and that would be totally normal. Whereas, when we were a metalcore band, that wasn’t the case. So I like that. I like the freedom of that.”
Diving into more with the outspoken frontman, like his time spent on the road supporting Underoath as well as Dance Gavin Dance’s Tilian Pearson, we were able to get into the headspace of a musician balancing both a band and a solo career. To hear what Tewers had to say plus his thoughts on The Plot In You’s upcoming tour with Sum 41 and The Amity Affliction, be sure to look below. Afterward, make sure to grab tickets to see the band here.
Congrats on all the success with The Plot In You’s new album Dispose. It must be rewarding considering how much you guys put yourselves out there. How are you feeling about the reception of the new record?
LANDON TEWERS: It’s been awesome, way better than I think we could have ever envisioned. Before we signed the record deal [with Fearless Records], we were kind of in limbo where we had no idea what was going to happen with the band in general. I was completely fine with it just being done. Like, we did one last headliner off the last record and I was like, “You know what? I feel like I could stop there and be fine. Like, [let’s] put a period on it.” So once we got the offer from the labels, I was kind of like, “Okay, I guess I could give it one more go and see how things go.” [Fearless] promised us a lot of things and they lived up to everything. So it’s been cool to see the fruits of the labor. But at the same time, I’m fucking tired [and] ready to have some off time. This has definitely been the busiest two years of our career by far. It’s so cool and so draining at the same time, you know what I mean? So I just have to step back ever so often be like, “This is sick.” Like, I need to appreciate it because it’s easy to get lost in that headspace where you’re just dying to get home.
There were probably a lot of moments to appreciate during those Underoath shows The Plot In You were doing.
There were so many moments on that tour where I’m just like, “I can’t believe I almost gave this up just to have” – I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with it – but like “a normal life.”
Was Underoath a band you listened to a lot growing up?
They were one of the first bands I ever listened to. I didn’t really get into music until a lot later in life. It was them and like, Yellowcard and this band called The Honorary Title – those were like the only three bands that I listened to. So yeah, for me, [touring with Underaoth] was crazy. I never told any of them but it was insane every day seeing those people in the same room just hanging out. It was pretty fucking weird.
It must have been even more special to be playing songs off Dispose and see all the positive feedback. Especially since the new songs aren’t as “heavy” as they used to be.
That for me, that was like the most exciting thing because I didn’t want to write heavy music anymore. I felt like I did everything I could as far as keeping me interested. So I was like, “If I’m going to do it, I want to do it my way.” And luckily, the label was on board for that. So yeah, like you said, it’s cool that [Dispose] ended up being the thing that people liked more. I don’t think anybody had too many complaints about it, like people bitching about not having heavy shit. So that’s awesome.
As for your new solo record Withdrawals, were those songs written around the same time as Dispose?
Way after, actually. Most of them were actually written this year. Pretty much after we got home from that Underoath tour I had a little window of time where I was able to write. So I just pumped out a bunch of songs. I think I wrote close to like 20 or something. Only nine ended up making the [album]. But that was like, I finally had a good chunk of time and I was like, “I definitely want to invest this time into making a solo thing. And I want to do something completely different.” So it was fun. It was just a blast the entire time.
Hearing some of the electronic elements in Withdrawals, did touring with Underoath influence that at all?
Maybe… subconsciously. You never know, that’s very possible.
Comparing early The Plot In You and your early solo stuff, there was a big difference in styles. Now if you put them side by side, you can certainly tell it’s the same artist. Do you like that they’re so similar now or would you rather keep them separated stylistically?
It’s interesting you say that because I could see where you’re coming from but like, I don’t know. I don’t ever really step into anything I’m writing with any intention of what I’m trying to go for. It’s just kind of what naturally comes out. But there were a couple people that when I showed them the solo record before it came out, they were like, “Why don’t you just save that for Plot?” I was like, “I never thought of that but that’s so weird to hear.” I guess Plot is at a place now, you know, where I guess I’m able to experiment more. So it’s almost expected. Like the unexpected is now expected. So we could put out songs like [my solo tracks] "Something to Lose” or “Threatening” as Plot songs and that would be totally normal. Whereas, when we were a metalcore band, that wasn’t the case. So I like that. I like the freedom of that. But yeah, I guess I gotta make sure not to blur any lines…
Or maybe you can go even weirder with your solo stuff moving forward?
Yeah. I mean, that’s one thing. Like I said, now I feel like I have the freedom with Plot to do almost anything with my solo stuff. 100% I can say and do whatever. I don’t have anybody on my back trying to pull me in one direction or another and I like that a lot.
So for this solo tour you’ve been doing, you’ve been playing a lot of new songs. What’s been the reception so far?
Really good. I had no idea what to expect at all from this record. And then once I got the offer for the Tilian tour I was like, “That could not be a better tour for me to put a solo record out on.” And I can tell most of the new songs are the ones that go over the best and then like the last song is an old song. But yeah, I pretty much only play new songs and it’s been going over really well.
Is there a lot of crossover between Tilian’s fans and your fans and Plot fans and Dance Gavin Dance fans?
I’m still figuring that out. Definitely every night I’ll have people come up and say they’ve never heard of me or anything and they liked it and stuff. So that’s cool, but I don’t know. I feel like even Dance Gavin Gans fans and Tilian fans are … there’s some difference too. I think Tilian actually has a decent amount of his own fans that don’t really care about Dance Gavin Dance, you know? And same with me. I’ve been meeting a lot of fans on this run that were like, “We just found out you had a band!” So that’s cool. It’s weird. But for whatever reason, that’s one of the more fulfilling compliments. It’s cool.
Looking at the rest of the year for you, The Plot In You is going to support Sum 41 which is pretty awesome.
Yeah. Personally, for me, I knew their singles growing up and stuff like that but I never got super deep into the band or anything. I wasn’t really into that genre. I was more into the screamo, Underoath types. But just recently, when we got the offer, I was like, “I need to go back and actually dig into this band.” And I did and I was like, “Damn this band is sick! Why didn’t I check this out sooner!?” But yeah, we’re all really excited. I think Ethan [Yonder, bassist] is the most excited because that was like one of his favorite bands growing up. He bought records and all that stuff. So I was the one that was like freaking out over the Underoath tour, he’s the one freaking out about this tour. But we’re all very excited.
It’s not every day you get to go from an Underoath tour to a Sum 41 tour.
What’s funny is I feel like [Sum 41 is] almost the oddball out. Like us and The Amity Affliction kind of make sense together. We’ve done that [tour] like a million times already. But us, Amity, and Sum41? That’s pretty random but cool.
Thinking about that tour, what do you think the fans are going to be like?
That’s the big question I wish I knew the answer to. It might help us put in a better and more accurate merch order [laughs]. We have no idea what to expect. Like I said, we’ve done the Amity tour, like us and them, a bunch of times. We know that works. But yeah, I don’t know. I feel like most of the people coming to this will be Sum 41 fans and we’ll be playing to a lot of new people that kind of lean more towards the pop-punk type stuff. So I have no idea what that crowd will think of us.
Is it pretty special though, at this point in your career, you can still play in front of new people?
That’s the goal on any tour. For me, I’d almost rather do that every time instead of the safe tours where you know, you’re playing to just your fans. With that, you can get stunted pretty fast just doing that over and over. And I see bands do just the easy packages that they know are going to sell well, people are going to show up, but you know you’re not gaining any new fans. If anything, you’re just burning your own crowd out. So yeah, I like almost the challenge of touring with a band that has fans that we have no idea what they’re are like.
Who are other bands that would be a goal to go out and support?
I guess at this point, just like all the nostalgia bands like the ones we’ve been doing, but like it’d be cool to tour with some artists and bands that are breaking out now. Like that dude YUNGBLUD. I think us and him could actually work together in a weird way. Even like, Bring Me and stuff. I’d really like to test the waters with even just doing tours with solo acts and stuff. Like, I think with this Tilian tour too, I think this is such a cool progressive thing. You don’t see too many [packages where] every band guy has a solo project. I would love to see this become more of a normal thing.
With your solo tours, do you want to stay close to Plot fans or branch out?
I mean, ideally, if I could choose I’d be on tour with big already established pop artists and stuff like that. I mean, this tour is awesome. This has been a great time. I think this could be a cool stepping stone into what I’d like to do in the future which is I would like to tour with other up-and-coming pop artists and stuff like that. I’d love to tap into a totally different world in general. But I mean, I guess I’ll just take what I get and just be thankful for it. I know that pop market is kind of hard to break into.
As someone who’s doing both the band and solo stuff, what are some challenges of keeping your head in the game and not burn yourself out?
I wish I could answer that question. It’s hard, man. It’s really hard. Even before I left for this tour, Josh, my guitar player was like, “Dude, I don’t know how you’re doing this.” He’s like, “I get like three months off and I still feel like that’s not enough.” But I really want to progress with the solo stuff. So it’s just something I have to do. But it is very, very mentally daunting. It gets really rough after a long time. Like, we’re at the last few days of this tour and I’m just like burnt the fuck out mentally. Pretty much all there is to do is just look forward to the show and just zone out and try to get through it. But at the end of the day, you just got to see it as the privilege that it is and just learn to appreciate it.